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Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry vs. Honda Accord



  • bateejeffbateejeff Posts: 11

    You seemed to argue that the post-2004 Malibu has had few or no issues. In my opinion, your argument is misleading. Since we're now in 2007, most of the post-2004 Malibu's have not passed the 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty yet. When there is an issue, the owner usually can get it fixed for free, and so the owner tends to be quiet about it. Besides, one's ego is also at play here. Americans tend to be or try to be confident, and sometimes they don't want their friends to think that they made a wrong choice and bought a wrong vehicle.

    Based on my experience, the Malibu is like a timed bomb. As soon as the bumper-to-bumper warranty expires, the health of the car will deteriorate drastically. That was exactly the case with my 2001 Malibu. When I complained to a Chevy dealership about having to make frequent repair visits, a service rep at the dealership joked that they loved to see me come in for service (because my repair visits generated a lot of revenue for the dealership). Ironically, a dealership can earn a lot more money simply by selling you a crappy vehicle, because later you will have to pay thousands of dollars to the dealership for repairing the vehicle.

    For those daring people who are going to buy a Chevy Malibu, I highly recommend that you consider buying an extended warranty which will surely be a good investment. You may or may not need an extended warranty for a Toyota, but you definitely need one for a Chevy Malibu based on my experience.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    ,-- bateejeff [ Mar 07, 2007 (7:53 pm) ]
    | You seemed to argue that the post-2004 Malibu has had few or no
    | issues.

    Yup, I am ready to say I am arguing the former: few issues.

    | In my opinion, your argument is misleading.

    In what sense?

    I am not saying the Malibu-2005 will not have many issues in the year
    2010. I don't know. Do you?

    I am saying it has few issues now. (Actually, I don't know what issues
    it has, class-wise.) Is this not true?

    Are you ready to say that you are claiming the opposite: that Malibu
    2004+ has many issues now? If so, what would they be? If so, what
    would be your source of information?

    | Since we're now in 2007, most of the post-2004 Malibu's have not
    | passed the 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty yet.

    I don't know about "most" but many did: the warranty expires at
    3-years or 36,000 miles. It seems to me that more people cross 36K
    miles before they cross 3 years. (Mark this as my speculation.)

    | When there is an issue, the owner usually can get it fixed for free,
    | and so the owner tends to be quiet about it.

    Oh, come on, nobody enjoys going even for warranty repairs. People
    are not quiet about their bad experience -- look at the Maxx boards,

    | Besides, one's ego is also at play here. Americans tend to be or try
    | to be confident, and sometimes they don't want their friends to
    | think that they made a wrong choice and bought a wrong vehicle.

    True. And this applies to other cars, too.

    | Based on my experience, the Malibu

    You don't have experience with this car, do you? *The* Malibu, *this*
    Malibu, not *that* Malibu?

    | is like a timed bomb. As soon as the bumper-to-bumper warranty
    | expires, the health of the car will deteriorate drastically. That
    | was exactly the case with my 2001 Malibu.

    Well, I don't have experience with that Malibu -- I can't comment on
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    I dont consider my 04 maxx a ticking bomb......87K on problems....performed scheduled maintenance, running mobile 1 syth oil, changing per GMOL and not a problem yet....very impressed with the car.....
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I am sure it was post 2004 malibus. Most of the issues i am referring to are the electrical issues. The steering issues had to do with the electric steering. those are differnte then the suspensionissues of the previous generation.

    Don't get me wrong. the current Malibu is a nice car. If you are looking for basic transportation, you'll be happy. After that experience with the 2001 malibu and my current 2000 Olds Intrigue, I need to stay away from GM for a while.
  • stlpike07stlpike07 Posts: 218
    I was surprised to see "Malibu vs. Camry." To me, there shouldn't even be a comparisson. But thats just my pinion.
  • saleemsaleem Posts: 114
    this argument is ridiculous and pointless.

    the malibu is NOT $7,000 less than a comparable Camcord. more like $2,000.

    Now, referring to malexbu's circular, annoying post.

    Clearly, no one has experienced massive troubles with a 2004+ malibu. it's been three years. THAT IS WHY we look at 2001 malibu's. Because the same company is making it, and even if the underpinnings and 80% of the engineering changes, the best you can do is judge the new car's future maintenance based on the previous generation's maintenance. so comments like "Well, I don't have experience with that Malibu -- I can't comment on it." are asinine and pointless. It's like 99% of malibu's breaking down, and you saying "well i know one guy who's malibu didn't break down, so I think the malibu is A-OK".

    Look, here's what it comes down to. If you want to "Buy American" (despite Honda/Toyota factories in the US, etc) then fine, buy a Malibu.

    But if you're looking for the best car for the money, you'd be MUCH MUCH MUCH better off buying an accord/camry in terms of quality, Quality, QUALITY, consistency, resale value, performance, engineering THOUGHT, and basically everything.

    Spend the extra $2,000, and you'll recoup $4,000 in 6 years.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Not quite a civil reaction, saleem -- if my post was annoying you, you
    could have just skipped it, it's not that anybody forced you to read

    But anyway, sorry for annoying you (and anybody else).

    I actually said what I had to say and hope that somebody finds it
    useful. With this said, I can switch back to lurking -- enjoy the
    quiet, buddy!
  • saleemsaleem Posts: 114
    Nah, the point of these forums are discussion. Sorry my post was less than completely civil.

    I just find it unfair that you say we cant judge the current Malibu's based on previous Malibus made by the same company. How else to predict future maintenance issues, than the previous track record?

    The repeated opinion in C&D and other magazines has lauded accords/camrys in different ways (reliability, initial quality and finish, etc for both-- praise for accord's sportier nature, camry's softer ride), while the malibu hasn't done as well. so the only way i can see it being logical to buy the malibu is if you're saving at least like $6,000 under a comparable camcord. otherwise, you'll end up paying (if you sell in the short term) in depreciation difference, or (in the long term) depreciation and maintenance. plus, the INITIAL quality doesn't seem to match the camcords. IDK, just my opinion. Clearly, each option's merits sways if you start saying 'i want an american car'. that's a different debate where the camcords are at an inherent disadvantage.
  • neteng101neteng101 Posts: 176
    I don't really see why most people would buy the Malibu over the Impala... the Impala is actually selling better than the current Malibu, and for only a bit more you get a nicer car with more room. I don't think the currently Malibu is anything much more than a ho hum car in just about every way ie. boring... at least the Impala is a much better looker.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    The Impala may be better looking but imho it's a cruder car than the 'Bu. Less sophisticated suspension-- although maybe less troubleprone (having just paid $800+ for a steering column). I also think the 'Bu (at least the Maxx) is more comfortable. Then again, more people are buying the Impalas. Interesting to see what the new RWD Impala will be like. I like the looks of the G8 a lot, although I think the Malibu is the superior (but uglier) car compared with the G6.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Wow, this has really taken off since I saw it last! I posted way back there, on page 1. I just want to restate that in 30 years of car buying I've bought only North American vehicles and my cost of ownership is very low. I'd put that up against anyone's.

    A point was made that comparing a former generation to a current one is valid, I disagree. Shall we base Honda on those 1st Civics? Talk about junk, that thing was the ultimate. How about the Pony? Obviously both those companies have come a long way and GM, Ford and Chrysler have all had their exceptional vehicles, now and in the past.

    I bought my current Malibu based on safety (in the top 6), cost ($16k Canadian $$ for a 1 yr old car with 16,000 kms). I take advantage of 1st yr depreciation and have always come out ahead. I couldnt even buy a 4 yr old Honda for that price. Yes, that will bring up the argument about low depreciation, which is true but the Hondas I tried for that price could not compare to the 05 Malibu in value, safety and features.

    I tend to keep my vehicles a long time and still have my 82 GMC van with almost 300,000 kms on it and have never done anything major to it. That goes for all the vehicles I've owned, never anything major went wrong unless it was caused by abuse. If you buy a decent car to begin with, dont abuse it and take care of it, chances are you will do fine.

    My 05 Malibu is a solid, safe, comfortable, fun car and nothing out there can compare when you factor in cost of ownership over period of several years. So far I've been given no reason to change my cost effective buying habits.

    And I have the peace of mind knowing my money is staying on this continent. Yes, the imports "build" cars here but where do the big profits go? They dont stay here.

    I know that car buying is a personal preference but it's not fair and very closed minded to think that anyone who buys North American is ill informed and stupid. It'd be interesting to hear some other cost of ownership numbers.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Ok, I bought my 92 EX Accord in Sep.91 for $17,000. Drove it for 12 years, and accumulated 140k miles. Sold it in Nov. 03 for $5,000. That's $1,000 per year. Spent less than $1,000 on repairs in that time. Yes, you can pay less per year, but not for the same quality.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    The van I mentioned above, which was great quality and served our traveling needs perfectly was purchased 13 years ago for $3000. We put 120,000 kms on it, and maybe $1000 in repairs and I sold it today for $600 to someone who is going to use it as a work vehicle around town. It had 280,000 kms when sold and the motor sounds smooth as silk.

    As far as quality only belonging to imports, that statement is growing tiresome. It's not like my Malibu is uncomfortable, leaky, no heat, no a/c, rocks for seats, burns oil, smells, breaks down, etc. It is good quality and losing more $$ per year buying imports because of perceived quality isnt worth it to me. In my situation if I'd have bought Hondas all these years, I'd have lost alot more money on vehicles. I like spending money on far better things than cars.

    How about a 72 Duster with a 225 slant 6. One of the most reliable engines ever built. Nobody in their right mind would trade for a Honda of that decade. It was bought in 1982 with 20,000 miles on it and looked like new. Paid $2500. I put 100,000 on it and sold it in 1994 for $500 since it had a case of the rusties quite bad. Otherwise it was running perfect, as usual. I dont recall doing anything to it except tires and a battery but I'll add $500 to be sure.

    2003 Malibu bought in 2004 for $13,000
    Was involved in a total loss accident 2 years later in 2006.
    Insurance payout was $12,500
    $0 repair costs.

    So for the van that comes to $261/year
    The Duster comes to $208/year
    The Malibu comes to $250/year

    Oh I've made mistakes as well, such as buying a brand new Tempo in 1985. Yikes! But in it's defense, it was very reliable in the 4 years I owned it. Not one thing went wrong with it. It's cost was over $1000 per year to own.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    We are comparing two different things here, guys. People that buy new cars will obviously have a higher cost of ownership (due to depreciation, especially with American's quicker drop) than those buying used. It is the reason Dave Ramsey buys used - it is money smart!

    It proves very VERY little about the cars though.

    Tempo, Duster, Van, American vs Japanese, Impala...None of these help further the conversation much for people clicking this thread expecting to see discussion about Accords, Camrys, and Malibus. Just a thought... :shades:
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    Very good point, it has got a bit off topic. I think that was due to the talk of value and quality. Perhaps some of this should be discussed in a different car buying for the cheapo in all of us.

    As far as the comparison goes, I was reading the customer reviews on the Camry and there is the usual whining. The same as you see for most vehicles. I think the Malibu is good competition for the Camry. Most of what people say is simply opinion anyway. You have to drive and compare prices and deals to really decide. If you keep cars long term, depreciation becomes less important and more comparable.

    There is a definite lack of customer complaints on the new generation of Malibu. Being an owner of both generations, I have to say that the new generation is way ahead of the last.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    Ok, my 2 cents.
    I went to our local auto trading site (Toronto) area and used their 'value finder' function for 05 Camry and Malibu. Here's what I got:

    There are 19 2005 TOYOTA CAMRYS in our listings.
    $15,900.00 $19,995.00 $23,999.00

    There are 27 2005 CHEVROLET MALIBUS in our listings.
    $4,250.00 $13,999.00 $15,995.00

    So there's about 6 grand of difference. A brief inspection revealed that on average these toyotas listed have higher mileage.

    I got a 05 Malibu LS for 15000$. it had 30000 km on it at that moment. When I look at used Camries with a V6 engine it looked like i could not do much better that 20-22 grand for the same or higher mileage.

    Now. JD Powers gives 05 Malibu 4 stars in Overall Quality and Camry of the same year is something like 4 and a half. Half a point difference, and mind you 3 stars is 'average' so both are above average.

    So...I beliewe Malibu has something going when it comes to used cars.
    My prev. car - 05 Pontiac Vibe had only 2 stars but still sold for 13900 at 68000 km (!). And the low rating is there for a reason - the Vibe definitely lacked in mechanical quality.

    Sure, if high resale value is the goal then Camry is your car. But if you want a car that you would keep for a while, i think there's enough data to say that Malibu is a cheaper option.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    I found the same thing when I was looking. The Toys and Hondas were more $$ for less features and higher mileage.
    Cost was of course a consideration but I am not going to give up quality or safety to achieve that. I drove all these cars and in the end there was NOT a great difference in quality or feel. As far as safety, the Malibu keeps great company! Been in the top few since 04. That is if you get one with all the airbags. You'll notice the Malibu scores better than the Camry and the Honda.
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    And the Vibe is a Toyota Matrix, not a true GM.
    The Vibe is based on the Toyota Corolla platform and powered with Toyota engine.
    Not a great car but you can see how the public is duped into thinking it's a fantastic car simply because it's made by Toyota. Depreciation rates arent always based on true quality, as some of us long term buyers who take advantage of those rates already know ;)

    More selling points for the Malibu for me is the fantastic fuel efficiency. Thats something GM has been know for. Also the use of galvanized sheet metal. I recall reading an article on how GM had excellent technology for making paint stick so well to galvanized metal.

    And dont forget power! That 3.5 good ol reliable but yet high tech pushrod engine has amazing low end torque. Thats where most people will feel and need the power most, not at ultra high rpm's. The Malibu to me feels more powerful than the Camry or Accord. I believe the 0-60 number is 7.8 seconds but thats going by memory so I could be wrong!
    It feels good and it sounds good :)
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    yes, Vibe was a disapointment to me. Toyota's participation didn't seem to help :)

    On the subject of efficiency...To be fair, the Vibe was better in the city, but obviously these 2 cars are so different. And yes that V6 drives so much better :) Vibe's 1.8 4 cyl was barely adequate, Malibu's V6 feels....liberating :)
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    yes, 7.8 sec is the number i saw on various random sites when I googled it.
    btw, supposedly G6 (GT, not GTP of course) is the same or only 0.1 sec less. G6 looks smaller to me and and has 220 hp as opposed to Malibu's 200. And, if memory serves, G6's max torgue comes on later rpm. And it's worse on gas.
    Sometimes I don't understand the car makers. Why not give both cars the same engine and be done with it ? :)
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    As far as I know the G6 and the Malibu are the same car, same engine (3.5). It's possible that the electronic tuning is different resulting in more hp on the G6 but I always thought they were the same.

    For the 04-05 Malibu 3.5 I found 200 hp at 5,400 rpm and 220 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm.

    This site says they're the same.

    You may be thinking of the 3.9 which is 240 hp, and both G6 and Malibu have that available now.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    actually, you're right, i comared 05 Malibu and 07 G6 :)
    and the 0-60 data was i an not even sure from what year,
    so scratch that :)
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    I've been impressed with the fuel efficiency. I've got slightly over 40mpg on the highway and almost 30mpg in the city. Those are based on Canadian or imperial gallons.

    Once leveled off in speed on the highway it runs 110Km/hr (about 70mph) at about 1700 rpm. Thats low in comparison to other cars I know. Maybe part of having good torque at the low end.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    That 3.5 good ol reliable but yet high tech pushrod engine has amazing low end torque. Thats where most people will feel and need the power most, not at ultra high rpm's. The Malibu to me feels more powerful than the Camry or Accord. I believe the 0-60 number is 7.8 seconds but thats going by memory so I could be wrong!
    well, yes and no - pushrod engines will generally always have higher relative torque than the same size OHC engine - more reciprocating mass. Other the other hand, HP (which is the prime detriment of acceleration is a function of that torque applied over time - meaning that the more willingly and quickly the engine will gain rpm the more HP (and acceleration) it produces. The GM pushrods are antiquated and slow (and noisy) in this regard and therefore produce less HP and slower cars. Things like the Camry 3.5, Accord V6 or Altima 3.5 are all in the next county before a Malibu driver can even realize what's happening to him, a function of those great free revving engines they have. On the other hand, the higher torque available on the pushrod engine may 'feel' quick initially but flatten out substantially(acceleration-wise) during the time it takes the engine to gain rpms.
    The most 'current' GM engine the 3.6 soon I'm understanding to replace the multitude of pushroods currently in the GM arsenal - it's about time! 252HP or so in a Malibu, should get those 0-60 times down into the 6s and also improve FE much like it is already doing in the Aura XR.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    i could never understand the how 0-60 numbers and max hp relates to real life.
    The pushrod has the torque at 3.5 thousand rpm. Camry's V6 is surely overall more powerful, but it's max torque only comes on at 4500 rpm, which is significantly higher. I mean, yes, if it revs up freely it's good, but you still have about 1000 rmp to go in comparission with the pushrod.

    Now...most of us need power NOW, i'e. as soon as possible...Hence the question, what's Camry's torgue at 3500 rpm (which seems pretty NOW to me :), Malibu gets to that rpm real quick) ? If Camry's curve is beefy enough that would result in a better drivebility, if not, that engine will not be much more driveable that the pushrod....4500 rmp is too high for a comfy acceleration even in small 4 cyl engines.

    Now the max HP. It tends to be somewhere at the redline. The question: when you drive to work, how much time you spend at the redline ? Yes, 0%. So, another characteristic irrelevant to our daily life.

    0-60. We don't do 0-60 often in a single burst. It's more like speed up to 30 mph, enter the ramp, go though it (a few deconds), go a bit faster towards the end of the ramp, and then only give it a quick burst of throttle to get to 60-70 mph. So it's like .... 40-70 accel that we do in a regular basis. Plus highway passing that is entirely different ball game.

    You know, one of the people I know got a diesel Beetle at some point. That thing has like....what 90 hp max ? But, the guy said he would smoke Civics all the time, and those are 110-120 hp.

    So, my point is numbers are nothing, the power/torque curve is everything. Say the upscale Civics they make now are rated at 200 hp. the redline which is real high. Who drives at 7000 rpm ? It's only useful on a racetrack.

    So if someone says that this car feels faster that that car that,in my mind, is more valuable than numbers. Of course, that's subjective, so the ultimate thing is to go for a test drive....the difference in max values may be nullified or reduced greatly by all the other factors.

    That's not to say that Camry and Malibu are the same. Camry may very well be better in real world as it is better on paper...The question how much better. In other words, think about it....maybe the manufacturers are playing us a little bit ? An average person looks at the figures first, right ? And if the car is fast enough on the test drive the decision is made. But, is it as much better as the figures suggest or only a little better ?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Only way to tell is drive a 2007 Malibu and then drive a 2007 Camry. Then make your decision.
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    sure, but i already got me a used Malibu, would not have gone the Camry way because of the price.

    so, for the sake of discussion....anybody test drove both ?
  • saleemsaleem Posts: 114
    even more confusing discussion to add used malibu's to the list. why dont we add any sedan that at some point in its depreciation curve passes $20,000? So lets add Lexus ES, IS, GS, LS; Mercedes C, E, S; Altima, Maxima; bentley even!

    Forget the 07 Accord I'm gettin' me a 1990 Rolls. Discuss!
  • yuryyury Posts: 146
    one of the big points of these cars is their rapid depreciation, so naturally that should be deiscussed in a topic like that.
    and Rolls is not, because the topic is entitled "Chevrolet Malibu vs. Toyota Camry vs. Honda Accord".
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    HP=(torque x rpm)/5252 - this is the actual mathematical relationship between the two.
    So, therefore, HP increases as rpms do, and the faster those rpms increase the more HP you will have. And it is HP that, for the most part, is going to push that Camry to 60 in 6 something, while that Malibu huffs and puffs its way in 8. Don't know that I can bite on your Civic/VW TDI story unless that Civic driver was short shifting it - diesels, of course, with very high relative torque but also very reticient to rev and therefore low HP and generally slow cars.
    I agree with the other poster, the only way you will know how each car drives (nd sounds and feels doing it) is to drive each of them. I assure you there is a BIG difference.
This discussion has been closed.